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Fayette County, Iowa  

 History Directory

Past and Present of Fayette County Iowa, 1910

Author: G. Blessin


B. F. Bowen & Company, Indianapolis, Indiana


Vol. I, Biographical Sketches



~Page 616~


Thomas N. Carnall



Few men of Fayette County are as widely and favorably known as D. A. HOLMES, of Donnan. He is one of the strong and influential citizens whose lives have become an essential part of the history of this section of the state, and for years his name has been synonymous for all that constitutes honorable and upright manhood. . . . .

Mr. Holmes was born in Rensselea county, New York, on January 5, 1834, and is a son of William and Rachel (THOMPSON) HOLMES. The father came from his native land to New York state in 1820 and was there married. In 1838 he came to Oswego county, New York, where he followed the vocation of farming, though earlier in life he had been a weaver. In 1864 he came to Fayette county, Iowa, and here spent his remaining days, his death occurring in 1883 at the age of eighty-three years; he had been preceded to the silent land a number of years by his wife, whose death occurred in 1870. They were the parents of five children, four sons and a daughter, of which number the daughter, Mrs. Margaret J. CLAXTON, and the subject are the only ones living.
D. A. Holmes, who spent his boyhood days on the home farm, was given the advantage of a good practical education, his common school training being supplemented by a course in the Mexico (New York) Academy. He engaged in teaching school and was so employed in New York and in Fayette county, Iowa, for sever years. He then decided to make agriculture his life work and to the end he bought forty acres of land, to the cultivation of which he assiduously applied himself. . . . . today he is the owner of four hundred acres of good land, practically all of which is under cultivation or devoted to pasture for his livestock. He has been an extensive and successful breeder of pure-bred Durham and Galloway cattle . . . . In 1904, Mr. Holmes went to California, remaining there until the spring of the following year, and on his return he erected a fine residence in the attractive village of Donnan, where he now resides . . .

Politically, Mr. Holmes is a stanch supporter of the Democratic party and has held several local offices, . . . . Fraternally, he is a member of the Good Templars. . . .

In 1860 Mr. Holmes was united in marriage to Angelica NEWMAN, the daughter of John and Catherine NEWMAN, and the widow of J. A. HOLMES, having by that marriage two children, James A. and Lizzie C. Her parents were born in Germany and on coming to the United States settled in Saratoga county, New York, where they spent the remainder of their days. To Mr. and Mrs. Holmes were born two children, S. Kate, deceased, and D. N., a farmer in Center township, this county. Mrs. Angelica Holmes died in 1867 and in 1869 Mr. Holmes married Sarah CARTER, who was born at Carterville, Oswego county, New York, the daughter of Robert G. and Emily M. (CHITTENDON) CARTER, the father a native of Ireland the mother of Westland, New York, her people being of Scotch origin. Robert G. Carter came to Oswego county, New York, when seventeen years of age, and was married in Oneida county, that state. He became the father of four sons and a daughter, of which number four are living. Mr. Carter was a successful farmer and extensive land owner, his holdings at one time amounting to about two thousand acres. He was also engaged in mercantile business, owned and operated a grist-mill and a saw-mill, a tannery and a hotel. His death occurred in 1893 and his widow passed away in 1903. To the subject's second union were born four children, namely: One that died in infancy; George R., born August 23, 1871, is engaged in business at Donnan; John Andrew, and Ina Sarah, the wife of Henry ADAMS, of West Union. John Andrew HOLMES, who is the successful pastor of a large Congregational church at Champaign, Illinois, received a splendid education, being thoroughly equipped for the sacred calling to which he has devoted his life.. . . .

Mrs. Holmes is descended on the maternal side from Jerry CHITTENDEN, a soldier of the Revolutionary war, who was with the patriot forces at Valley Forge and Yorktown, and who, though of English extraction, devoted himself unselfishly to the cause of the colonists. For his services he received a land warrant for six hundred acres of land. His wife was Asena DOUGLAS, a cousin of Stephen A. DOUGLAS.

Mr. Holmes is justly numbered among the representative men of his county. . . . ."

(Source book contains a picture of "Mr. and Mrs. David A. Holmes.")

~transcribed for the Fayette Co IAGenWeb Project by Ann Borden


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